Monday, September 1, 2008

Willow's Weekly Word

We grilled outside several times over the holiday weekend and it
made me wonder about the origin of the word barbecue. WT is
an old Kansas City guy, where the BBQ is excellent, by the way. I
did a little research and found that the word barbecue entered the
English language in about 1657 and came from the Spanish word
barbacoa, which is a framework for roasting meat or fish. The
Spanish word originated from the Haitian Arawak word barbakoa
meaning "tree house", likely referring to the image conveyed by the
roasting framework made from sticks or poles. By 1733 the word
referred to "an outdoor meal of roasted fish or meat". An inaccurate
folk etymology origin of the word, claims that BBQ came from the
time when roadhouses and beer joints with pool tables advertised
Bar, Beer and Cues. According to this tale, the phrase was shortened
over time to BBCue and then to BBQ, which is now a common
abbreviation of the word and is spelled either barbecue or barbeque.
So, there you have it.

Mammy: Oh now miss Scarlett you come on and eat juss a little

Scarlett: No! I'm going to have a good time today... And do my
eating at the barbeque

Mammy: If you dont care what folks says about dis family I does!
I is told ya and told ya that you can always tell a lady by the way
she eats in front of folks like a bird and I ain't aimin' for you to go
to Mr. John Wilkes and eat like a field hand and gobble like a hog!
Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee! Ashley told me he likes to see a girl
with a healthy appetite!

Mammy: What gentlemen says and what they thinks is two
diffrent things, and I ain't noticed Mr. Ashley askin' for to marry you.
Scarlett: [Turns around slowly to face Mammy then throws her
umbrella and stuffs food into her mouth]

Mammy: Now don't eat too fast. Ain't no need for it come right
back up again!

Scarlett: [With her mouth full] Why does a girl have to be so silly
to catch a husband?


  1. I love your pear photo on the sidebar.

    About barbecue... down south where I live barbecue is a noun, specifically it is meat (preferably pork) that has been slowly smoked then served with sauce.

    I've also heard barbecue used as a verb (although not in the south!) such as, "Let's barbecue this weekend."

    Then, of course, there is barbecue used as a noun when referring to the grill, such as, "Let's put the hamburgers on the barbecue." I really don't understand that one.

    To me barbecue is meat, not an event or a grill.

  2. Yes, it's interesting, isn't it? We use the term up here usually as a noun, referring to slow cooked meat with barbecue sauce, but also as an event where the meat is cooked outside on a grill.

  3. Whichever barbecue really means....I love it! :)

    Love the Gone With The Wind quotes! Makes me want to watch that movie! I read the book in college...actually, I thought it was tons better than the movie...but love the movie, too! ;)

  4. I have to say I love the film just as much as I do the book!

  5. What a great post willow.
    A real "BBQ" for me is digging a hole in the ground and building a fire with a lot of rocks on top and then roasting a lamb or a pig over it and having a party while all this is all happening.

    And I too luv the pear with the bite out of it, now that the yummy basket of pears have ripened.

  6. Ahhhh! I saw Gone With the Wind at the Fox theater in Atlanta for the first time when I was ten!

  7. That Mammy sho was a fill-os-ifer. Pappy

  8. I love pit-cooked barbecue!

    We used to vacation on Jekyll Island, Ga., and the kids loved nothing more than driving over the drawbridge to Brunswick, to have lunch at Sonny's Real Pit B-B-Q. They loved the baby back ribs, and I got my fill of fried ocra. Oh drats, I am getting homesick here ....

  9. I think of it as a verb and a noun!
    I love the idea of Scarlett being encouraged to eat.
    Sadly, no one needs to encourage me.
    Yes, the Frick is amazing and very atmospheric.

  10. Bonjour !

    Toujours aussi jolie une photo en noir et blanc...

  11. I'm liking that pear on the sidebar too! Gorgeous. Growing up in NJ, barbeque was an event plus the action of grilling--as in "we're barbecuing tonight--drop by." Now, it's the stringy pork stuff that cooks for hours on end, in NC! LOL Interesting to hear where it originated. Fun post, Willow.

  12. I can still see Scarlett's beautiful green and white party dress. And that glorious hat! Mammy was right, she really should not eat in that dress! Especially BBQ.

  13. BBQ'd twice of the 3 day myself. Have a good week!

  14. We have had rain all summer and no barbecues, haven't eaten outside even!
    I am in denial about autumn which is a shame as it is a favourite season usually.

    I loved Gone with the Wind, the book and the film.

  15. Gone With The Wind was and still is my all time favorite read! Love the history in it! And we eat BBQ here at least once a week, be it grilling or take out! :D

  16. Willow, I imagined that the word barbecue was a recent addition to our language, thanks of the lesson. Knowledge is power.

  17. Here's an odd thing - I've seen tons of movies and old movies, especially those of the 1930s are favorites - yet I have never seen GWTW.

    BBQ? Here it was too damp and overcast.

  18. Bill, queue it up on Netflix right now!! I guarantee you will love it. It's a classic. We quote lines from it all the time!

  19. I love this! I was just discussing the different ways the word barbecue is used in the south versus the north in America with my English sweetie who thinks of it more in the way my New York friends do.

  20. May I just add to your excellent post that we still use the word 'barbacoa' in Cuba, meaning 'mezzanine'? Because of the housing situation in Cuba, it is common to find people building an extra room in houses with high ceilings, hence the 'tree house' definition applies very well to that type of construction in the Caribbean island.

    I enjoyed the post thoroughly.

    Greetings from London.

  21. We call it braaivleis here....shortened to braai. Braai - to roast on an open flame. Vleis - meat in Afrikaans.

  22. For all of the sushi and dim sum I get to enjoy in great quantities, I know that my foodie life will not be complete until I get some real barbeque because even I know that what I am fed out here in CA is not right.

    Months ago I read Calvin Trillin's Tummy Trilogy and have been obsessed with the idea of going to Arthur Bryant's for the barbeque. Someday I will make the pilgrammage to Kansas City.

  23. Arthur Bryants is the oldest and the best!


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)